Speed Reads

No Ring for the Ringleader

Millions in fake sports memorabilia seized from South Carolina collector's shop

Authorities in South Carolina confiscated more than 600 counterfeit championship sports rings from a collector's shop, state officials said Monday. If the fake merchandise had been legitimate, it would have been worth an estimated $15 million. 

Items seized from Kirk's Collectibles "include counterfeit Super Bowl rings, as well as championship rings for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)," the South Carolina Secretary of State's office said in a press release. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, the office added.

Additional memorabilia seized include fake rings from two of the state's top colleges: Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. 

While counterfeit sports items may sound harmless, this sentiment was rebuked by officials. 

"The sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime," said Secretary of State Mark Hammond, adding that fake memorabilia causes "billions in damage to the nation's economy each year" and involves "trafficking in counterfeit funds, organized crime, and terrorism." He also noted that the makers of these fake goods do not abide by conventional health standards, and that many of these products contain harmful ingredients. 

According to statistics from the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, more than 45 million American jobs rely on preventing the sale of counterfeit goods.

The raid was the highest-value seizure in the history of the South Carolina Secretary of State's office, The Associated Press reports.